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jueves, 7 de septiembre de 2017

Rottneros to provide RenFuel with lignin for the production of Lignol

Lignol® (lignin oil) is a product that can replace fossil oil and be used as raw material in the production of renewable gasoline and diesel. The Swedish RenFuel has developed and patented an energy-efficient catalytic process to refine the lignin from black liquor into that product. The process breaks down the lignin generating a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons without producing toxic emissions or hazardous residues.

In April 2016, RenFuel and Nordic Paper announced the sign of an agreement to build a test facility in Bäckhammar (region of Värmland, Sweden) with the purpose of demonstrating the Lignol production (see press release). The pilot plant would be financed by a government grant of SEK 71 million (approximately 7.5 M€) from the Swedish Energy Agency and built inside the Nordic Paper pulp factory in Bäckhammar. The grant also covered the development of RenFuels patented method of membrane filtering. RenFuel started the production of Lignol in the facility during the spring of this year.

Figure 1. Nordic Paper pulp factory in Bäckhammar (extracted from Nordic Paper web page) – It hosts the RenFuel pilot plant

Now, according to a recent press release, Rottneros (pulp producer) and RenFuel have entered into an agreement regarding the raw material to produce Lignol. During 2018, Rottneros will initiate deliveries of lignin from the company’s pulp plant in Vallvik (Söderhamn, Sweden) to the RenFuel pilot plant in Bäckhammar. In this way, RenFuel’s access to lignin is secured through the cooperation with Rottneros.

Another important link in the chain is access to refineries that have the capacity to produce renewable fuels from Lignol. In this sense, Preem (the largest fuel company in Sweden) has previously expressed its interest in processing Lignol at its refineries to produce renewable gasoline and diesel (see the statement of its CEO in the press release about the announcement of the agreement to build the test facility). However, there is no new or additional information about this point.

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